Staff at Babcock Armour Centre at Wareham in Dorset have already taken one day’s strike action in their dispute over pay.
Staff employed on the TMASS contract at the Armour Centre, which is based next to the Bovington Tank Museum in Dorset, train army personnel in tank and armoured vehicle driving, maintenance, gunnery, communications and manage the stores.
Members of PCS took one day’s strike action in November for the first time. The strike was well supported with 96% of members attending the picket line, and training was halted for the day.
Members had been offered 2.4% and although PCS rejected the offer, management imposed it in the hope of undermining PCS members’ resolve. Following the strike, management improved their offer with benefits that it claimed were worth an additional 0.4%.
The improved offer was overwhelmingly rejected at a members’ meeting. Members are rightly angry that their wages have fallen in real terms by over 5% whilst Babcock International Group’s pre-tax profits rose from £275 million in 2013 to £498.8 million in 2017.
The latest strike will be for three days on 19, 20 and 21 February. A picket line will be in place between 7:30 and 10:00 a.m. each morning, at the main gate just past the tank museum at Allenby Barracks, Bovington, Wareham, Dorset BH20 6JA.
PCS industrial officer, Paul Bemrose said “It’s frustrating that Babcock is playing fast and loose with our members’ living standards. The group is reaping huge profits and constantly boasts to the staff of its success. Success that is founded upon the hard work and dedication of PCS members. All members want is to be no worse off than last year. This is highly political for Babcock. They can afford to pay more but are concerned that a fair award at the Armour Centre will lead other sections of Babcock workers on other contracts to demand fair pay too.”
Messages of support should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Donations can be made to the PCS fighting fund.